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LIX                           TAMERLANE                         201
most brilliant feat of arms, which deserves to be recorded
as an illustration of the amazing enterprise and initiative
of the famous conqueror.    Karshi, a town only a few
miles to the south-west of Kesh, had been captured by
his rival, and he felt bound in honour to recover it.
His forces were too small to assault it openly, and Amir
Husayn was in the neighbourhood with an army too
powerful to be attacked.    Tamerlane, giving out that
he had departed to Khorasan, crossed the Oxus.    When
he  was  satisfied  that his  enemies were  deceived  and
" had spread abroad the carpet of riot and dissipation,"
he made forced marches, escaladed the walls by night,
slew the guard at the gate and frightened away the rest
of the startled garrison by sounding trumpets.    The men
who accomplished this consummate feat of arms were only
two hundred and forty-three in number, and when this
became  known   the  little  band was  assailed  by Amir
Husayn.    To the amazement of his enemies Tamerlane
sallied out repeatedly and inflicted such loss in his charges
that the larger army retreated.   Not long afterwards Amir
Husayn was forced to capitulate at Balkh, where he was
put to death.
The Conquest ofjatah andofKhwarazmy A.H. 771-782
(1369-1380).—The successful issue of the contest with
Amir Husayn gave Tamerlane complete control of
Transoxiana, and for a full decade he was busily engaged
in conquering the neighbouring states of Jatah to the
east and of Khwarazm to the west.
The Surrender of Herat, A.H. 782 (1380).—In A.H.
782 (1380) he began his famous campaigns in Persia,
his first objective being Khorasan. Ghias-u-Din Pir Ali,
the Kart Prince, after being lulled into false security, was
surprised and submitted. His submission was accepted,
but so heavy a contribution was levied on Herat and
other towns that they were reduced to dire poverty.
Kandahar and Kabul also submitted later on, but isolated
strongholds continued to resist in various portions of
what is now termed the kingdom of Afghanistan.
The Siege of Kalat-i-Nadiri and of Turshiz.—The
famous natural fortress now known as Kalat-i-Nadiri,